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Medicine Wheel Productions

Calling All Artists

Calling all performing  Artists

In the late 80s December 1 was known as Day Without Art/ World AIDS Day.  It was no mystery that the arts community had been hit hard by the new and emerging pandemic.  The Music, Dance, Theater and Visual arts world felt the weight  and  the enormity of the loss.  The loss took on deeper meaning because the arts so often were the thing that provided us, the public,  with the means to navigate the meaningful in our lives.

Where,  we asked ourselves,  would we be without art?

The Art Community came together to amplify the situation, often by leaving marquees dark or draping works of art in shrouds.  Art works also were created that would hold and remind us of the lives we feared history may forget.  The Names Project/ The AIDS Quilt would become the largest public art project in America.  A bearing witness and a testimony to those times and a Beacon to the future.

A 36 foot section of the AIDS Quilt will also be on display, part of the largest public art project in America. It was made to remember the names we feared history may forget. This year over 250 artists from Boston and beyond will contribute 4 foot by 4 foot panels to line the walls of the Cyclorama, saying we do not forget each and everyone of them!

We also have the tradition of inviting performance artists to mark one of the hours of the 24 hour vigil with, song, dance, poetry, music, performance art  etc.   Please consider adding your voice to this powerful testimony that the arts continue to be the source that can  guide us though arid times.

please contact Georgia Lyman at geolyman@gmail.com  if you are able to make an artistic offering!

 read more

Thank you

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25th Medicine Wheel Vigil

call to artistsCALLING ALL ARTISTS


In 1987 a small group gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would forget.  This action served as the beginning of the Names Project, Also known as the AIDS Memorial Quilt.  On December 1, 1989 A Day Without Art began as a National Day of Mourning in response to the AIDS Crisis. In 1989 Boston Artists created thousands of 12” x 4” paper prayers in response to a call by Yerserki Gallery, well-known artists, students, youth, and children did these. In 1992 Medicine Wheel was built in the Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts.  The Medicine Wheel Vigil has become an enduring testimony to HIV/AIDS in our lives.

In those early years we were being asked the unimaginable question,

Where would we be without art?

This year I invite the artistic community of Boston, New England and beyond to give testimony and invite reflection on the power of art help us navigate and facilitate who we are for ourselves and who we can be for one another.

For visual artists: create a 4 foot by 4 foot panel to become part of a mural to line the walls of the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts.  Work should be based in bearing witness, testimony, remembrance, love, loss, longing and survival

v  Paint and Panels are available for pick up at Medicine Wheel 110 K Street, South Boston, MA 02127.

  • Limited palette of Black and red
  • Other materials may be added but they should be black and red as well

v  We can arrange to deliver panels to you or your groups

v  You can join us at Medicine Wheel and work on your panel here: through Thursday November 18th

  • Tuesdays, 1:00 pm -9:30 pm
  • Wednesdays, 10:00 am -9:30 pm
  • Thursdays, 3:00 pm- 7:00 pm

Panels Should be returned to Medicine Wheel, 110 K Street by November 21, 0r delivered by noon time on November 28th to the Cyclorama Building of the Boston Center for the Arts 539 Tremont Street.

For performing artists: Help us sanctify Medicine Wheel by making an artistic of poetry, song, dance, music or performance.  Each year we invite artists to offer a breathtaking experience to mark each hour of the 24-hour vigil.

For the spiritual community:
Mark one of the 24 hours with a blessing, prayer, ritual or meditation

For the public:  Join us from City Hall Plaza on November 30th 10:45 pm as we light City Hall red and process to the cyclorama for the 24 hour Medicine wheel Vigil

Join us and cast your hand to create a spiral of interlocking hands to honor our connections. Vigil begins at 11:30 pm, Wednesday 11/30/16 and goes for the full 24 hours of Thursday 12/01/16

For more info call 617-268-6700 or 617-872-6065

Or email info@mwproductions.org


Read more about Medicine  Wheel Vigil


Ribbon Cutting

Irish Consul General: Fionnuala Quinlan

Irish Consul General: Fionnuala Quinlan                  Photos By Brian McCarthy

Artists Michael Dowling and Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile  cutting the ribbon

Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade for the Commonwealth, Nam Pham, Boston Parks Commissioner Christopher Cook , Artists Michael Dowling and Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile, State Senator William Brownsberger , and Boston Inspectional Services Commissioner William Christopher, cutting the ribbon

Kathleen Bitetti, curator Medicine Wheel and Kelly Brilliant, The Fenway Alliance

Kathleen Bitetti, curator Medicine Wheel and Kelly Brilliant, The Fenway Alliance

Commissioner Chris Cook, Boston Parks and Recreation

Commissioner Chris Cook, Boston Parks and Recreation





Medicine Wheel Board Honors Artisitc Director Michael Dowling

Join us at the TAJ to Celebrate 25 Years of Art and Healing and to honor Artistic Director  Michael Dowling’s Vision of a shared new future!  For tickets




Artistic Director in Boston Police Commissioner William Evans Office,  Presenting Hand in Hand


Dowling’s artistic work takes many forms, but it is united by his deep conviction that art and

the act of artistic creation have unrivaled power to break barriers and bring people together

around a common sense of purpose. Dowling is interested in the potential for personal and

collective change found in this liminal experience of crossing and uniting in what Dowling

calls the “threshold” through which individuals pass at the invitation of a work of art or, better

yet, as they share in the act of artistic creation. Certainly there is a long genealogy to the

notion that art can or should serve as an agent of social change, but Dowling’s

understanding of the nexus between art and change is both more nuanced and more

practical than I had previously encountered. As we worked together on the Liberty Tree

Project in 2014 and 2015, I came to understand Dowling’s vision of the power or art and the

role of the artist as both deeply aspirational and surprisingly earthbound. Dowling’s work

proceeds from the idea that something important happens when we bring together people

from different backgrounds and with different experiences and views of the world and invite

them to share a common experience of collaborative artistic creation or interpretation. They

learn that they are not as different as they had expected. They learn to communicate, to

listen, to understand. Indeed, they are changed.”

Nathaniel Sheidley Historian and Director of Public History The Bostonian Society


Medicine Wheel Celebrates 25 Years of Art and Healing!

Moving beyond Diversity to Inclusion, Building Community From the Inside Out, Using Art as the Threshold.

“Medicine Wheel is the Go to Organization for Art and Healing” 

Ayanna Pressley – Boston City Councilor-at-Large

Become a spoke of the Wheel



 In 1992 we were invited by the Boston center for the arts to create an installation cairnandritual to honor a Day Without Art/World AIDS Day.  During the 24 hours of Dec 1, people carried stone to the center of the vast Cycolrama to mark the impact that HIV/AIDS was having.  Two womaen tried to move the heaviest stone in the room.  I offered to help and the young man, long dead from AIDS, ringing the gong offered.   When I offered a third time one of hte woman turned to me and said. ” You don’t get this do you?  Her son my nephew, just died form AIDS.   This is our weight.  My work as an asrtist and the owrk of Medicine  Wheel began at that moment.  We have been blessed to continue our work and will be installing the 25th Incarnation of Medicine Wheel  this year at the Boston Center for the Arts.

“One of the most significant events ever in the City of Boston, involving thousands of artists, young and old, from every neighborhood over the years. Remembering the lives of some of the most beautiful people to ever grace the planet.

Laura Brown, Artist




































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